How To Remove, Treat, and Prevent Rust
Rust is something we all must deal with at some point in our lives. Whether it’s maintaining your daily driver, restoring a classic, or just around the house, rust is a type of corrosion that never sleeps and is always attacking metal. Below are the common ways to prevent, remove and stop rust in its tracks.
Mechanical Rust Removal
Angle Grinder- An angle Grinder is one of the most common ways to remove rust mechanically. You can attach a number of different sanding or stripping discs to the grinder depending on how heavy the rust or corrosion is. Check out our selection of grinders and wide variety of stripping discs.
Metal Wire Brush- This is the most basic and possibly the most common way to remove rust from metal. A wire brush is made up of fine strands of metal that make up the bristles of the brush. When these are rubbed against the metal it abrades and removes rust, paint, and corrosion. Wire brushes come in the standard steel hand brush format or we also offer cylindrical wire brushes that save time and can be used in a drill to get into tight areas.
Media Blasting- Removing rust, corrosion, and old paint couldn’t be quicker or easier than with this method. A media blaster uses compressed air and a crushed or ground abrasive media to shoot the media at a high velocity to clean metal. This method does require a dedicated air source such as an air compressor. We offer a number of different media blasters from cheap syphon blasters to large pressure blasters. We also have a vast selection of abrasive media ranging from delicate soda blast media and walnut shells to more aggressive aluminum oxide. Choosing the correct grit media to match the job is equally as important as the correct blaster.
Chemical Rust Removal
Fast Etch- This chemical is a fast acting, powerful solvent that dissolves light surface rust to medium rust and leaves a zinc phosphate coating to stop any further corrosion and also etch clean metal. Use Fast Etch on fresh metal with light surface rust or on metal that has pits or crevices that mechanical removal can’t touch. Simply wipe the treated area clean with PRE painting prep and you’re ready to prime and topcoat.
RUST DISSOLVER- If removing rust mechanically isn’t your thing and you want a gentle solution that will dissolve medium to heavy rust; then you may want to try Eastwood Rust Dissolver. It can be brushed on or parts can be submerged into the dissolver to remove rust chemically. This solution requires the rusty metal to stay “wet” with the rust dissolver until the surface is turned to fresh, clean metal. One tip is to cover larger parts in plastic wrap or circulate the dissolver over the part with a small pump. Surfaces that have been treated with rust dissolver need to be immediately cleaned and sealed with a primer, fast etch, or after blast to keep the fresh, vulnerable metal from flash rusting. Use our Gel Rust Dissolver to treat vertical or odd shaped surfaces that normal rust dissolver may have trouble clinging to.
Chemical Rust Treatment
Rust Encapsulator- Encapsulator treats, seals, and stops rust from spreading on metal. It chemically encapsulates the surface and leaves a surface that is ready for primer or topcoat. Rust Encapsulator is fast curing and can be exposed to UV rays (some other products cannot). We suggest using Rust Encapsulator on any area that has light to heavy rust. It’s also acceptable on surfaces that are mixed between clean metal and rusty metal (such as hard to reach areas or pitted metal). Offered in a number of colors as well as rubberized and textured finishes, this sprayable or brushable coating is the toughest, most versatile chemical rust treatment product you’ll use!
Rust Converter- Areas that have medium to heavy-duty rust are perfect candidates for Eastwood Rust Converter. This solution requires substantial rust to be present to chemically activate (flash rust is not enough!). After curing and converting the rust it leaves an inert surface that is ready for a primer or topcoat. We do suggest mechanically removing any loose, flakey rust (but not to bare metal) before applying the converter. Since it is a one-part formula it is easy to spray, brush-on, or submerge the part to convert the rust, but does need to be sealed with a primer or topcoat.
POR-15- Want a rust product that encapsulates the rust and leaves a rock hard finish? Then POR-15 products are up your alley. POR-15 works on areas that have mild to heavy rust. The surface does need to be correctly prepped with POR-15 products before applying the final treatment, but many rust fighters prefer the finish. It seals the rust from further moisture exposure, but it does require a top coat if you plan to apply it to areas that are exposed to UV rays.
Chemical Rust Prevention
Heavy Duty Anti-Rust- If you have hidden or hard to reach areas that are rusty and you can’t mechanically remove the flakey rust or clean the area properly, you have a prayer. Heavy-Duty Anti Rust is waxy film that is sprayed into these areas to slow current rust and prevent future rust from forming. This product has been used by most all of the major auto manufacturers to seal body crevices from rust. While this won’t convert or cure rust it will seal the area from moisture and slow the rusting process and keep fresh metal from being attacked immediately by rust. Apply this product with an undercoating gun or with an aerosol can and extension nozzle.
Zinc-Rich Galvanizing Compound- This compound is the end-all for metal that’s exposed to extreme conditions and heavy wear. The Zinc-Rich Galvanizing Compound is a sprayable coating that fuses zinc to the surface leaving a finish similar to galvanizing. It even protects when scratched or penetrated. Use this on bare metal or hidden areas that may not require a topcoat.
Internal Frame Coating- An Eastwood developed and exclusive product. This solution is meant for hidden areas that are either susceptible to rust or already have light to heavy rust present. The extension wand included with the Internal Frame Coating aerosol cans have a conical spray pattern that coats 360 degrees in hidden areas. This product is an “all in one” type product that converts, encapsulates, and seals the surface with a phosphoric finish that will outlast any other coating. Internal Frame Coating is also low viscosity and will “creep” into small crevices and cracks for superior coverage. Although the name suggest this is for frames of vehicles, this product is good for us in ANY hidden or inaccessible area.
Road Salt Neutralizer- Would you be reading this article if you didn’t have some pre-existing rust project to tackle? Probably not, but you can do your best to assure you have to tackle less of these jobs by being pro-active. Road Salt applied during the winter months in a lot of places is like a accelerant for rust. If you don’t clean the undercarriage of your vehicle after driving in salt and road treatments your vehicle is rusting almost before your eyes. Be sure to apply Road Salt Neutralizer after each heavy road salt application to save your vehicle from deterioration. This is applicable to any vehicle including your shiny new SUV that just rolled off the lot!
Rubberized Undercoating- Rubber is soft and repels (to a point) things thrown at it. This idea was used when making rubberized undercoating. Use this product on areas you’ve treated with above rust chemicals or even on fresh metal to seal it from the harsh conditions seen by the undercarriage of a vehicle. Avoid cheap, asphalt-based products and stick with Quality Rubberized Undercoating like we offer at Eastwood Company.
If you keep these methods and products in mind when dealing with rusty metal you can make your life easier and also assure anything metal you own will last longer! For our full line of Eastwood tools, paints, and rust chemicals make sure you visit: http://www.eastwood.com/